By Alyssa Schnugg
Today is the last day to apply to The Christmas Store to receive help with gifts this holiday season.
Applications are available at Interfaith Compassion Ministry or through local schools.
The Christmas Store has been serving local families for 44 years. Originally started by the Christmas Store Committee of First Presbyterian Church, the Rotary Club of Oxford-Ole Miss took the project over in 2007 and works in partnership with Interfaith Compassion Ministry.
While the application process is ending, the work is just beginning.
The Christmas Store provides two toys and two books to each child.
“Our goal is to provide more than 500 eligible children with books and toys (this year),” said Macon O’Bryan, chairman.
In addition to the toys and books given to each child, fresh fruit is provided by Taylor United Methodist Church, along with a few other treats.
Members of the Lafayette County Literacy Council are at the Distribution Day to sign eligible children up for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Parents/guardians have the option of having gifts wrapped when they pick up the gifts.
“We have tremendous volunteer support from the community, and we could not put this on without our volunteers,” O’Bryan said.
Those looking for a chance to be one of Santa’s elves this year can find a variety of volunteer opportunities with The Christmas Store. Help is needed to shop for gifts, helping to organize and sort the toys (on Dec. 7), assisting parents on distribution day (Dec. 14) in picking out toys and books, wrapping presents and various other jobs.
“We are honored to receive financial support from local businesses and individual sponsors, as well as the many volunteers who help shop, sort and wrap toys,” O’Bryan said.
If you lack the time to volunteer, The Christmas Store accepts donations of new toys or money used to purchase toys and books.
To inquire about volunteering, or arrange for someone to pick up donations, email The Christmas Store at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Checks can be mailed to: The Christmas Store, P.O. Box 1686, Oxford MS 38655. Checks should be made out to The Christmas Store. All donations are tax-deductible.